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Previous SFF Author: Elizabeth Vaughan

SFF Author: Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn(born in 1973)
Carrie Vaughn is an “Air Force Brat” who grew up reading science fiction. She was her high school valedictorian, received a BA from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and lived in York, UK for her junior year abroad. She worked as a Renaissance Festival counter wench, a theater usher, an editor, a buyer at an independent bookstore, and an administrative assistant before going to the University of Colorado at Boulder and earning a Masters degree in English. In 1998, Carrie attended the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop, a six-week long summer workshop directed by Jeanne Cavelos. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado. Learn more at Carrie Vaughn’s website.



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A chat with Carrie Vaughn

FanLit welcomes our regular guest Stephen Frank. He’s a big fan of Carrie Vaughn’s KITTY NORVILLE series and he had a chance to talk with her about the newest installment which was released today. Thanks, Stephen!

We are pleased to have with us today Carrie Vaughn, bestselling author as well as the ingenious creator of my personal favorite fictional radio show host: Kitty Norville. Her latest novel, Kitty Steals the Show is being released by Tor today. Comment below to win a copy.

Stephen Frank: Hi Carrie.


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Kitty and the Midnight Hour: A Denver DJ with a little extra bite

Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Norville is a radio DJ that hosts a late night talk show about various paranormal topics. She often gets strange calls from the very subjects she talks about. She usually ends up giving out advice to these callers since they have very few options for advice available to them. As a werewolf herself, Kitty is in a unique position to dispense helpful information to those that need it. Her show became popular and that did not sit too well with some key players in her life.


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Kitty Goes to Washington: A fun “popcorn novel”

Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty Goes to Washington, by Carrie Vaughn, is the second book in the long-running Kitty Norville series. I enjoyed the first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, enough that I read the second at the first opportunity. Kitty Goes to Washington picks up immediately after the events of book 1, when Kitty gets a subpoena to appear before a congressional committee that is investigating a government program for paranormal research.


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Kitty and the Silver Bullet: Seen it all before

Kitty and the Silver Bullet by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn’s KITTY NORVILLE series is yet another example of what’s happened to the typical urban fantasy series. For the most part, you could take stories we’ve seen before, cut and paste pieces of them together, and getKitty and the Silver Bullet.

Kitty, an infected werewolf, is still an outcast from her pack. She is still doing her radio show about the paranormal community and she gets involved in a direct challenge for dominance of a city between two powerful vampires. The local werewolf pack gets caught up in it,


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Kitty’s House of Horrors: A solid installment in a fun series

Kitty’s House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn

Kitty’s House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn is a solid addition to the story of radio talk-show host Kitty the werewolf that began with Kitty and the Midnight Hour. I’ve enjoyed the entire Kitty series and House of Horrors was no exception.

In Kitty’s House of Horrors, Kitty and her friends, including several fun new characters, are trapped in an isolated cabin and hunted down one by one.


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Discord’s Apple: Refreshing and unexpected

Discord’s Apple by Carrie Vaughn

Evie Walker is a comic book writer who is to inherit a magical storeroom from her terminally ill father. Unbeknownst to her, it has been the duty of her family for thousands of years to keep this storeroom safe. The storeroom contains artifacts from myth and legend, such as the Golden Fleece, Cinderella’s slippers, and of course Discord’s apple. Not only is Evie about to inherit these objects of legend, but she is also about to inherit the attention of powerful beings that would love to obtain them.


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The Urban Fantasy Anthology: Not what I expected it to be

The Urban Fantasy Anthology edited by Peter S. Beagle & Joe R. Lansdale

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of most urban fantasy. I tend to find problems with almost every urban fantasy book I’ve tried to read. When I got this book in the mail, I kind of rolled my eyes and shot it to the top of my “to be read” pile so I could get it over with fast. I didn’t expect to actually enjoy this book. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d open this anthology and think,


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After the Golden Age: The perils of being human

After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

After the Golden Age, by Carrie Vaughn, is a likable enough novel that takes the world of comic book superheroes and filters it through a more realistic prism, focusing more on a family and character, with the usual superhero action scenes playing more in the background. Unfortunately, what could have been a truly fun read is marred by issues of weak plotting and characterization, making After the Golden Age a somewhat pallid and on balance a slightly disappointing novel.


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Dreams of the Golden Age: Better than first book

Dreams of the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn

Dreams of the Golden Age is the follow up to Carrie Vaughn’s After the Golden Age, to which I gave only a middling review thanks to issues of plotting and characterization. While the sequel suffers from some of the same problems, they crop up less frequently and are less problematic. The main character, meanwhile, is a more active and engaging voice and so I found Dreams of the Golden Age to be more successful and thus far more enjoyable.


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Martians Abroad: Fun from the first page to the last

Martians Abroad by Carrie Vaughn

In Martians Abroad (2017), Carrie Vaughn re-envisions aspects of the “juvenile” novel Podkayne of Mars by Robert A. Heinlein, turning his classic spacefaring story into something refreshing and new while retaining the sense of limitless adventure. Kat has mentioned in her reviews of Heinlein’s juveniles that they were instrumental in forming her love of science fiction, and the same is true for me: books like Have Space Suit — Will Travel and Red Planet captured my imagination and made me dream of embarking upon my own interplanetary journeys.


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Bannerless: A thoughtful detective story in a post-apocalyptic world

Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn

In Bannerless (2017), Carrie Vaughn ― perhaps best known for her KITTY NORVILLE urban fantasy series inhabited by werewolves and vampires ― has created a reflective, deliberately paced post-apocalyptic tale with some detective fiction mixed in. It’s about a hundred years in our world’s future and after an event simply called the Fall, when civilization collapsed worldwide. The cities are now ruins, abandoned by all but the most desperate people. Climate change has resulted in, among other things,


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The Wild Dead: Ups the ante in a satisfying way

The Wild Dead by Carrie Vaughn

Carrie Vaughn continues the fascinating post-apocalyptic BANNERLESS SAGA in The Wild Dead (2018), the first sequel to her Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel Bannerless. Murders are, thankfully, few and far between along the Coast Road, so it’s been about a year since Enid of Haven has needed to put on her metaphorical deerstalker cap. This time, she and her painfully inexperienced new partner, Teeg, are in the remote southern settlement of Desolata to mediate a dispute over a pre-Fall house: the house’s “owner” refuses to admit that his family’s cherished home is dangerously dilapidated,


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The Ghosts of Sherwood: Too short, but has good heroic characters

The Ghosts of Sherwood by Carrie Vaughn

The Ghosts of Sherwood (2020), a novella by Carrie Vaughn, was for me a frustrating story, with several strong aspects but also some elements that drove me crazy, leaving me overall disappointed but hopeful for its follow-up, The Heirs of Locksley.

As the titles make clear, Vaughn is working in Robin Hood territory here. More precisely, she picks up the story many years later. Robin of Locksley and his wife Marian live on the edge of Sherwood Forest with their three children: Mary,


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The Heirs of Locksley: Archery and mischief with Robin Hood’s children

The Heirs of Locksley by Carrie Vaughn

The adventures of Robin Hood’s three children continue in The Heirs of Locksley, the second novella in Carrie Vaughn‘s ROBIN HOOD STORIES series. It takes a unexpected four-year leap forward from The Ghosts of Sherwood. The eldest, Mary, is now twenty and still hasn’t met the young man she’s semi-betrothed to, and her feelings have shifted from fear and uncertainty to irritation that William de Ros still hasn’t bothered to come meet her;


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Magazine Monday: Apex Magazine, Issues 31 through 33

Apex Magazine is a monthly e-magazine that publishes two short stories, one reprint story, a nonfiction piece and an interview in each issue, together with the occasional poem. In the three issues I read, the reprint fiction tended to outshine the original fiction — which doesn’t mean the original fiction was bad, just that it couldn’t quite live up to the standard set by the well-chosen older stories. The interviews are thoughtful and generally go well beyond the usual topics, either to discuss the author’s work in considerable detail or to go into areas not normally explored in most interviews.


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Magazine Monday: Nightmare, June 2013

Issue 9 of Nightmare opens with “The House on Cobb Street” by Lynda E. Rucker. There is a long italicized quotation from a purported learned treatise about the house at the top of the story, reciting the history of so-called Cobb Street Horror, but noting that the witnesses have refused to speak to the author. Another italicized segment comes from the blog of Perry “Pear Tree” Parry, referring to a video of Felicia Barrow, speaking of Vivian Crane, who has disappeared. The entire story has the aura of a scholarly piece,


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Magazine Monday: Fantasy Magazine, Women Destroy Fantasy

Fantasy Magazine was folded into Lightspeed Magazine in 2012, but it came out of retirement in October 2014 for the Women Destroy Fantasy issue, one of the stretch goals of a Kickstarter for an all-women edition of Lightspeed. I was one of the contributors to the Kickstarter, and, as my review last week revealed, I greatly enjoyed the Women Destroy Horror issue of Nightmare Magazine that was another stretch goal of the same Kickstarter. I’m pleased to report that the fantasy issue is just as “destructive” and enjoyable.


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Magazine Monday: Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issues 169-170

Carrie Vaughn opens Issue 169 of Beneath Ceaseless Skies with “Sun, Stone, Spear,” a story about as different from her KITTY NORVILLE series as it seems possible to get. Two young women, Elu and the narrator, Mahra, have decided to leave their home village; Mahra seeks adventure, while Elu wishes to be the chief astronomer of any village in which she lands — not a position she is likely to get in her home village, where there are four apprentice astronomers ahead of her. Their travel to a new village is one frought with danger,


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SHORTS: Dellamonica, Malik, Gilman, Vaughn, Fischer, Hurley

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about.

“The Cage” by A.M. Dellamonica (2010, free online at Tor.com or purchase Kindle version)

“The Cage,” a stand-alone short story by A.M. Dellamonica, was published a few years ago on Tor.com; I read it a while ago, re-read it recently, and am happy to report that it was just as enjoyable the second time around.


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SHORTS: Vaughn, Brennan, Campbell, Anders

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 

“Doctor Kitty Solves All Your Love Problems” by Carrie Vaughn (2001, originally published in Weird Tales 324 (Summer 2001), free on the author’s website)

Kitty Norville is a radio DJ with a late night call-in show, focusing on questions dealing with the supernatural: werewolves, vampires, witches, psychics, etc., in a world where these types of beings have come out to the public.


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SHORTS: Hodge, Chiang, Vaughn, Ryman, Simmons

There is so much free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet these days. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 

“More Full of Weeping Than You Can Understand” by Rosamund Hodge (2010, free at Beneath Ceaseless Skies, 99c Kindle magazine issue)

Violet always knew she was different: she’s unable to feel deep concern or love for others, whether it was her kitten that died or her Grandmama. So she isn’t too surprised when a tall pale woman with huge butterfly wings appears to her and tells her that she is her real mother,


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SHORTS: Byrne, Klages, Humphrey, Lecky, Vaughn

Our weekly exploration of short fiction, old and new, available on the internet.

“Alexandria” by Monica Byrne (Jan. 2017, Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan/Feb 2017 issue)

They were travelers, though of the domestic sort. After their terrible honeymoon, they’d never left Kansas again.

Monica Byrne is a playwright and fiction writer who won the James Tiptree Award in 2015 for her novel The Girl in the Road. “Alexandria” starts slowly, maybe a little bewilderingly, with Beth, an older woman living alone on her Kansas farm,


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SHORTS: Gladstone, Chiang, Bolander, Johnston, Swanwick, Vaughn

Our weekly sampling of free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are some great stories that caught our eyes this week:

“A Kiss With Teeth” by Max Gladstone (2014, free at Tor.com, 99c Kindle Version)

Within the first two paragraphs “A Kiss With Teeth” has outlined an unusual premise: a vampire masquerades as human in order to be an ordinary husband and father. He isn’t blending in to feast on blood or evade capture, but simply to give his wife and especially his son a fighting chance at normalcy.


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SHORTS: Barthelme, McGuire, Hurley, Wong, Vaughn, Anders, Headley, Shawl, Bolander, Walton, El-Mohtar, Valente, Dick

Our weekly exploration of free or inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we read this week that we wanted you to know about. 

“Report” by Donald Barthelme (1967, originally published in the New Yorker, free at Jessamyn.com (reprinted by permission), also collected in Sixty Stories)

“Our group is against the war. But the war goes on. I was sent to Cleveland to talk to the engineers. The engineers were meeting in Cleveland. I was supposed to persuade them not to do what they were going to do.”

“Report,” by Donald Barthelme,


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SHORTS: Lawrence, Vaughn, Kressel, Baggott, Mott, Veter, Clarke

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories that caught our eyes this week.

“The Secret” by Mark Lawrence (2015, $1.95 at Audible)

I haven’t read Mark Lawrence’s BROKEN EMPIRE series yet, but after reading “The Secret,” I definitely want to. This story gives some background into Brother Sim, an assassin who is part of Jorg Ancrath’s brotherhood. Brother Sim has snuck into a princess’s bedroom (invited) and is telling her the story of an assassin.


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SHORTS: Tambour, Vaughn, Kowal, Larson, Balder

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we’ve read that we wanted you to know about.

“The Walking-Stick Forest” by Anna Tambour (2014, free on Tor.com, 99c Kindle version)

This is an excellent dark and fantastical short story, set in 1924 in Scotland. Athol Farquar is a veteran of World War I who now lives a solitary life as a carver ― or, more accurately, a shaper ― of wooden walking sticks. He has a deep affinity for blackthorn wood and the forests around his home,


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SHORTS: Corey, Gilman, Vaughn, McDonald, Bisson

Our weekly exploration of free and inexpensive short fiction available on the internet. Here are a few stories we’ve read that we wanted you to know about.

The Vital Abyss by James S.A. Corey (2015, $2.99 Kindle, $4.95 audio)

I haven’t read or watched THE EXPANSE yet, but I purchased some of the related novellas when they were on sale at Audible. The first one I read was The Vital Abyss and I loved it.


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Wild Cards: Try this in audio format

Wild Cards edited by George R.R. Martin

Sept 15, 1946: Wild Card Day. When aliens from the planet Takis wanted to test their newly developed virus on a species that is similar to them, naturally, they brought it to Earth. Though they were thwarted by one of their own princes, a foppish alien who has become known to Earthlings as Dr. Tachyon, the virus fell into the hands of evil Dr. Tod, a Nazi sympathizer who, thinking it a biological weapon, decided to drop it on New York City. His archenemy, Jetboy,


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Aces Abroad: Aces and Jokers tour the world

Aces Abroad edited by George R.R. Martin

Aces Abroad is the fourth WILD CARDS anthology edited by George R.R. Martin. It was originally published in 1988, released in a new print edition by Tor in 2015, and released in audio format by Random House Audio in March 2016. It would be best to read the previous volumes (Wild Cards, Aces High, Jokers Wild) first, not only because they introduce the most important characters and provide a lot of background information that you’ll need to fully appreciate Aces Abroad,


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Inside Straight: A WILD CARDS reboot

Inside Straight edited by George R.R. Martin

The year 2008 saw the (second?) rebirth of the WILD CARDS series edited and co-written by George R.R. Martin. These are ‘mosaic’ novels — stories written by several authors and set in a shared universe. The first book, Wild Cards, appeared in 1987. Inside Straight (2008) is book 18. To make this 18th book a good entry point, Martin and his companions created something of a Wild Cards: the Next Generation to reboot the series.


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Busted Flush: Not very satisfying

Busted Flush edited by George R.R. Martin

Busted Flush is the nineteenth entry in the Wild Cards series of mosaic novels edited by George R.R. Martin. The previous book, Inside Straight is something of a new beginning for the series, a new trilogy with new characters and a couple of new writers. It’s a good point to get started. Unfortunately Busted Flush falls a bit short of the standard set in the first book of the Committee trilogy.

The story picks up some time after the events in Inside Straight.


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Fast Ships, Black Sails: Pirates and adventure!

Fast Ships, Black Sails edited by Jeff and Ann Vandermeer

I was never a big fan of pirates (ninjas, on the other hand…) but nonetheless, the very word evokes adventure and the high seas. Fast Ships, Black Sails doesn’t really stray far from that expectation and delivers eighteen stories marked with action, treachery, and a sense of wonder.

A good chunk of the stories revolve around traditional concepts of a pirate, with only a few exceptions, such as “Boojum” by Elizabeth Bear & 


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Spicy Slipstream Stories: If you love pulps…

Spicy Slipstream Stories edited by Nick Namatas & Jay Lake

Slipstream, for me, is a type of fiction that is bizarre and confusing and defies expectations. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, but to quote a passage from the introduction of the book, “You don’t write slipstream, you read it.” And so it was a big surprise when I started reading the stories in this anthology. They’re actually — gasp — readable, or at least accessible to lay people without needing literary degrees or geeky credentials. In fact, the selections impressed me because they all stood out,


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Warriors: Diverse, entertaining, rewarding

Warriors edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

FORMAT/INFO: Warriors is 736 pages long divided over twenty short stories and an Introduction by George R.R. Martin. Each short story is preceded by biographical information about the author and a short description of their contribution to the anthology. March 16, 2010 marks the North American Hardcover publication of Warriors via Tor.

ANALYSIS:


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Songs of Love and Death: Tales of star-crossed lovers

Songs of Love and Death edited by George R.R. Martin & Gardner Dozois

Songs of Love and Death is the third anthology that George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have edited together. Like Warriors and Songs of the Dying EarthSongs of Love and Death brings together some of the biggest names that SFF has to offer and they set these authors to work on a common theme.

Martin and Dozois offer a cross-genre anthology that ranges from Robin Hobb’s epic fantasy “Blue Boots,” which tells the story of a romance between a young serving girl and a silver-tongued minstrel,


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Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories

Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories edited by John Joseph Adams

Even people who don’t usually read science fiction will often be familiar with a few classic titles in the “dystopian SF” sub-genre. After all, 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and of course the famous Aldous Huxley novel Brave New World are some of the few SF titles that have entered the mainstream literary canon to such an extent that they’ve become assigned school reading for many students.


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Epic: Legends of Fantasy: Lives up to its title

Epic: Legends of Fantasy by John Joseph Adams (editor)

Epic: Legends of Fantasy, edited by John Joseph Adams, is an anthology of stories written by some of the biggest names in epic fantasy. The book clocks in at over 600 pages not just because it’s very difficult to tell short epic stories (though some of these authors do manage to pull it off) but because here the authors are not just telling epic legends, they are legends in and of themselves. George R.R.


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The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination: For a dose of crazy genius

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination edited by John Joseph Adams

The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is the latest themed anthology edited by John Joseph Adams — and it’s another good one. This time, Adams has collected a set of short stories featuring the hero’s (or often superhero’s) traditional antagonist: the mad genius, the super-villain, the brilliant sociopath who wants to remold the world in his own image — or occasionally, maybe, just be left alone in his secret lair to conduct spine-tingling experiments that,


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The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014: An enjoyable collection

The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2014 edited by Rich Horton

I’ve been reading a lot of anthologies lately, including another of the several “Year’s Best” collections (the Jonathan Strahan one). I was pleased to find that, unlike some of the others, this one matched my tastes fairly well for the most part.

I enjoy stories in which capable, likeable or sympathetic characters, confronted by challenges, confront them right back and bring the situation to some sort of meaningful conclusion. I was worried when I read the editor’s introduction and saw him praising Lightspeed and Clarkesworld magazines,


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Magic City: Recent Spells: A solid urban fantasy anthology

Magic City: Recent Spells edited by Paula Guran

Things you should know:
1. This is a reprint anthology. If you read a lot of anthologies in the field, you will probably have read some of these before. I had read three, though two of them were among the best ones, and I enjoyed reading them again.
2. It still has some worthwhile stuff in it, especially if you’re a fan of the big names in urban fantasy (Jim Butcher, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs) and haven’t read these stories before.


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The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk: Truly mammoth, with some great stories

The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk edited by Sean Wallace

The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk lives up to its name, with 21 works of fiction ranging from short stories to novellas. “Dieselpunk” is the term the coined for concepts that grew out of steampunk but have left the Victorian era behind and are now, for the most part, set in the time period between the two world wars. There are exceptions in this anthology; one story takes places during WWII and one during the American Occupation of Japan.

What you get here,


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Urban Allies: Will please many fans of urban and paranormal fantasy

Urban Allies edited by Joseph Nassise

I’m always impressed when authors work together, and in Urban Allies, editor Joseph Nassise has managed to pair up twenty authors who not only collaborate, but merge their own characters into ten brand-new and original adventures. Each story shares a similar theme: popular characters from existing series or novels meet up and must join forces in order to defeat a common threat. Since these are urban fantasy authors, every story has a supernatural or paranormal aspect, though the situations and resolutions are completely unique to each tale,


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Next SFF Author: Rick Veitch
Previous SFF Author: Elizabeth Vaughan

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